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Monday, July 23, 2012

But It DOES Signify!

"It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing." — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)

Last night it was nearly nine and still 100 degrees outside. I sat indoors with the NYT crossword wishing my brains would work but they wouldn't. I just pondered its puzzles, felt quite stupid, wished I didn't. I told Norma and, because she is full of sympathy and because we share everything, she told me she too wished I wasn't so stupid.

So I rose, gathered my dignity with a theatrical flourish and chased her outside. She is quick and nearly impossible to catch, but barely had the back door banged before we stopped, staring up in awe. We saw, forming under a crescent moon, a sight long missed under weatherless sky. Quoth I:
"'Say... why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting? Speak...'"


"Scottish Play."

She fetched her camera.

It was a good moment, a secret moment which I readily impart. After all, until everybody's told what not to tell, how are they going to keep a secret? Yes, it was with this thought I realized these were no random clouds; we were witnessing the formation of an Idiot's Tale --and standing under its influence.

We watched the clouds herd together. They swirled and climbed into gloaming night. We got excited!

Then we got bored. How long is this going to take? Are we there yet? We caught ourselves in horror. There's nothing going on! It's an empty assembly of furling vapors! We are imbeciles! Run!

We returned to indoor pursuits and finally retired. And I thought of retirement. Useful word --especially in crosswords-- that means getting to bed or getting up for work one morning and calling in old, which I did three years ago --stayed home with Norma because I could no longer see any reason to go where she wasn't. My brains returned.

At midnight I got up and went out again, with a bottle of wine, to watch the flashes of lightning and hear thunder cannonade in the east where the Idiot's Tale was dammed on foothills. Then wind changed and, over the next two hours, drew sound and fury over our yard. Lightning flashed with strobe-light frequency and thunder rolled. Then it rained.

I ran in and woke Norma. Wake up! Wake up! My pajamas are wet!

I was not an "only" child. I had three siblings, older and better armed than I. And I married. I have friends and acquaintances who have experienced none of these things and they are happy. But they have missed the running critique and commentary: they meet life not knowing what kind of idiots they are.

I believe I've just solved Macbeth.


  1. The one true way to find out what kind of idiot you are is to get will always then, have someone willing to tell you. So happy for you that your pajamas are happy for you that it rained. There we go.

  2. I love this post Geo.
    When it seems that all has gone awry there is always midnight and a good moon, and then if you're lucky enough to have a storm pop up in the sweltering heat so much the better.
    Nature has often set me straight lately.

  3. That moon was over my place last night. Then it rained warm rain. I extinguished the small candle, and then out, out brief candle I went and stood in the rain naked. I was just a poor player, who struts and frets his way across the grass and then is heard no more, because I fell in the pond.

  4. I love this post from start to finish... great set-up, great middle, and perfect conclusion. It's exactly the sort of column I'd love to see in our newspaper. (And I'm not just saying that because you're a fellow NYT crossword puzzle addict.) You definitely have a witty way with words.

  5. I love seeing where Geo's brain will take us! Your house sends better than TV. Maybe you could set up a webcam for us. Wait, you mean you made most of that up? Guess I'll just have to keep reading, then.

    Can't beat a good storm. And it's the ones who don't know they're idiots that are truly dangerous! :)

  6. Delores-- Indeed, it's mindboggling that the world misses new and improved kinds of idiots regularly because they are single.

    Rubye jack-- Good point. I too believe nature is counselor as well as language of the universe.

    John-- Could this birthday suit foray be connected to the, uh, pavilion you've erected for the big day?

    Susan-- Thank you. Most kind! Do you, like I do, find the NYT crossword difficulty level increase thru the week?

    CarrieBoo-- Except that Norma was already awake a 2 a.m. and it was she who noted my pajamal wetness, I made nothing up.

    Thanks all!

  7. Great post- - -net pics. I am not sure how I missed your blog. I would like to follow your blog. It is refreshing.

  8. Thank you, Munir. Most kind.

  9. You asked about the NYT puzzles. I only do the Sunday version. (Whatta snob!) In ink. (Erasable!)

  10. Susan-- NYT offers too large a Sunday crossword for me, but even erasable ink is an impressive medium for working them. I do the peevish Wed. thru Sat. ones and, at this stage of life, use irascible ink.

  11. Geo, it's my firm opinion that strutting and fretting is the only way to get through life, and if it's in wet pajamas, it won't be so dusty.

  12. You're right. Then screw your courage to the sticking place and get on with it

  13. Austan-- Indeed, I shall stret and frut until I get it right!

    DB-- In response to your encouragements, I finally got courageous enough to fiddle with template. Perhaps my writing will improve now that I can see it.

  14. Sorry I came here so late! It's all been said!


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